The Kraków Poetry Symposium will bring together known and emerging poets from the U.S., Poland and other European countries to share and discuss their work and ideas.
Organized by the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation on the initiative of Adam Zagajewski and Edward Hirsch, the event aims to be neither dry nor overly academic, but rather an open and candid discussion of poetry in contemporary culture. Along with two evenings of poetry readings and presentations offering perspectives on contemporary poetry in featured participants' native countries, the symposium has planned five discussions focused on questions facing poets today.
These open debates will address poetry and mass culture, poetry and isolation, poetry after the Holocaust, the globalization of poetry, and poetry between the sacred and the secular. The discussions will offer an opportunity for a diverse group of poets and the public to engage with issues facing their art, and will position that art within issues of contemporary culture. As Zagajewski notes, poetry, while beautiful and joyful, is also a “diagnosis of the world in which we live.” The program of the Kraków Poetry Symposium will allow for both a celebration of the beauty of language as well as reflection on its position in the world.
Additionally, the Symposium is conceived as a point of congregation for poets from across the globe. Reflecting on the isolation of the poet, Zagajewski observes that poets in the U.S., in particular, lack the community that others might find in artistic centers such as Kraków or Paris. Working together with Hirsch, he hopes that the symposium will provide this type of space for poets to discuss and share their work.
The translations of poems and discussions emerging from the symposium will be published in the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Magazine. This publication looks to further the Poetry Foundation’s mission to promote poetry in modern culture and, Zagajewski hopes, lead to an increased familiarity with Polish poets in the U.S.
Zagajewski is one of the most recognized names in Polish poetry abroad. Widely praised and translated, Zagajewski embodies the spirit of the Kraków Poetry Symposium. He teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and is a member of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, where he teaches literature. As a professor, Zagajewski shares his expertise while remaining open to the perspectives and interests of his students. Always willing to discuss the creative work of young poets in his courses, Zagajewski appears committed to fostering talent and a love of language, both in and out of the classroom.
The Kraków Poetry Symposium will be held from the 17th to the 21st of June. Reading and debates are open to the public. For a complete program, see: http://www.poeciwkrakowie.pl/
Source: PAP 04/06/2013
Edited by: Alena Aniskiewicz